Voter ID laws have swept across the United States in recent years, following big GOP gains in the 2010 and 2014 elections. With Republicans now more powerful in the states than they’ve been since the Great Depression, it has been a priority for them from coast to coast. The stated purpose of these laws, of course, has always been that they prevent voter fraud; you need to have ID to verify your identity for other things, after all, so why not voting? And polls generally show a strong majority of Americans agree. But as any voter ID opponent will tell you, there are so few cases of documented voter fraud that it’s not clear there’s actually an ill that’s being cured. Instead, Democrats allege that these laws are clearly aimed at disenfranchising minority voters, in particular, because they are less likely to have the proper IDs. And minority voters, of course, heavily favor the Democratic Party.
Assisting Democrats in this argument that it’s all a partisan power grab? A handful of unhelpful Republicans who have suggested in recent years that voter ID does indeed help the GOP — perhaps so much that it would put them over the top in blue-leaning swing states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Freshman Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) became the latest to stumble into this territory this week, including voter ID as part of his case for why Republicans could win Wisconsin in the general election for the first time since 1984.
“I think Hillary Clinton is about the weakest candidate the Democrats have ever put up,” Grothman said, before volunteering the following: “And now we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference as well.”